Regular Poem: Hot Mic

26 Apr

I can think of better
ways to go,
but it’s right up there
in the top ten
below
being killed heroically foiling a kidnapping
and above
being mauled by a bear.

Her last words were,
“Is anyone else even singing?
All I can hear in my monitor
is my own throaty purr
in a popping void.”

Yes, that’s probably the best way
to go–
the speaker’s frayed wire
or whatever
conducting through
my Quik Trip drink
and lipstick
and I’m ash
and the worship pastor
says a short prayer
and goes on with rehearsal
as the EMTs haul
my still sizzling carcass
out of the sanctuary.

Witnesses say
she went out in a blaze of glory
singing glory to her Maker.
“It’s tragic,” the pianist mused,
“but somehow fitting.”
The combustion was limited
to one monitor stage left
and quickly contained.
Casualties: one alto
who could never remember
when to start singing harmony.

Yes.
Much better
than being murdered
by NPR.

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Regular Poem: MVP: Mystery Soprano

25 Apr

there’s this verdi aria
i’m into right now

it’s so athletic

every time i hear it
i imagine the soprano
in tennis clothes–
you know
the visor and skort and sweatbands and all–
i don’t know what she’s singing about
(love, murder, or masquerade balls
if i know anything about opera
which i don’t)
don’t even know what opera
it’s from
don’t care

i just like hearing
her voice leap and hurdle
and put shot
volley and backhand
make a lay up

in my translation
she’s shit-talking her opponents
making grandiose claims
about her prowess
following through with those claims

she spikes it over the net
celebrates her victory
with a chest bump
gets gatorade poured on her head

there’s also a section
that’s like
the slow motion play back
of the winning touchdown
where she shows off her low register
and it’s just
that growl she does
on her lowest note
is her game face
you don’t even have to see it to know it

you know it’s serious
when a soprano
takes a dive

the whole thing
is just a feat
i’d be so tired just
looking at the sheet music

but i bet she’s got another two acts
before she gets to towel off
and hit the showers

Regular Poem: A Grown Woman

24 Apr

A grown woman
lives here.

She cleans my house,
and she buys me groceries,
and she pays my taxes.

A grown woman
picks out my clothes for tomorrow,
makes my lunch.

She doesn’t make
all my decisions, but
she sees to the
day-to-day.

I wish she were more strict,
would punish me more effectively.

But she’s nobody’s mother.
She’s me
on a good day.
And I wish

she were me
more often.

Regular Poem: Self-Help

23 Apr

it’s
not even that
i don’t believe it
coming from myself
but i can’t even make myself say it
to myself

i’ll say it
to you
or to her
or to him

you’re valuable
tomorrow’s a new day
you can do this

i’ll say it
to anyone
and mean it

but the words
clog
in my own throat
to my own self
and turn into

you’re valuable-ish
tomorrow’s the same day
you could do this if

i can
look in the mirror
and say
you’re pretty

but that’s almost always followed by
beauty is passing
and charm is deceitful 
a woman who fears the lord

let me be a woman who fears the Lord
make me a woman who fears the Lord
change my heart and
change my mind and
change my thinking and
ch-ch-changes
turn and face the strange

Regular Poem: Frozen Pizza

22 Apr

i know
i couldn’t really skip town
i can’t even
skip my own house
as impulsive as
i can be–
that tuxedo didn’t buy herself, after all–
i’m always talking myself out of
reaching out
branching out
going out

maybe it’s
the very real fear
of buying a tuxedo
again
metaphorically
maybe a little literally too
that keeps me
bound
to my frozen pizzas

but maybe i like frozen pizza
and maybe i deserve frozen pizza
and maybe frozen pizza is what i know
and what i can see

maybe i am
the frozen pizza
in the icebox
waiting for the oven to heat up

gosh that’s stupid
forget i said that
forget the frozen pizza thing altogether

i could never skip town
i can’t even skip this poem
or that frozen pizza i had for supper

Regular Poem: A Tragic Tale of Five Minutes

21 Apr

She was standing there on the corner
in the rain
as if she’d been waiting for me
knowing I’d pull around
following me into
my driveway
smiling and damp
tail
wagging.

She knew
sit.
She probably
had a name.
What was it?
Sadie?

And then
the dog catcher pulled up.

I watched
from the garage
as he whistled
and she was so good
and trotted right to
the back of his van
ready to be caught.

I don’t need
another animal.
But for a moment
I wanted one
had one.

Maybe I’ll go
to the pound
tomorrow.
If she’s not there,
no harm no foul.
If she is,

sit, Sadie, sit.

Regular Poem: NPR Is Going to Straight Murder Me

20 Apr

all things considered
i’m still listening to NPR
yesterday it was an interview with
a lexicographer

and i found myself
in sumptuous daydreams
about words
and their etymologies
and their first printed usages
an idealized version
of myself
sitting in a dark gothic library
scouring microfiches
i see the exact outfit i’m wearing
navy pencil skirt
cream and olive vertical striped blouse
cream cardigan
cream ankle strap pumps
a lot of rings
shimmery nude lipstick
i always feel like
a member of the bletchley circle
when i wear that
but

in this fantasy
instead of a murder board
i’ve got
word diagrams
in that phonetic alphabet
i wish i’d taken a course on
in real life
and then i’m spiraling
and wishing and regretting
instead of fantasizing

i swear
why don’t i listen
to a different radio station

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